BUSINESS

Kerry singles out N.Korea for Internet abuse, calls for global focus on open and secure Web

05/18/2015 04:27 EDT | Updated 05/17/2016 05:59 EDT
SEOUL, South Korea - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is singling out North Korea for repressing its citizens' use of the Internet, calling open and secure cyber access a global right.

Kerry told students Monday at prestigious Korea University that authoritarian Pyongyang, with the lowest rate of access to the Web in the world, was the opposite of ultra-wired, democratic Seoul.

Kerry linked poor Internet freedom to questionable human rights and a stifled economy without innovation or freely exchanged ideas.

Washington accuses Pyongyang of being behind last year's massive hack of Sony Pictures over a film that centred on the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Seoul also says Pyongyang has staged a series of hacks on major South Korean companies and government organizations. Pyongyang denies the hacking claims.